Kava, also known as kava kava, is a flowering plant native to the western Pacific Islands. It is commonly used for medicinal and recreational purposes in Polynesia, Micronesia, and parts of Melanesia. But how does it reproduce?
Let us stroll our way through the fascinating secrets behind kava propagation. By the end of this guide, you'll be able to answer for yourself if kava produces seeds.
Does Kava Produce Seeds?
If you're a kava fan, you may wonder if it produces seeds. Despite its presence in major markets worldwide, kava produces no seed and reproduces only through kava root cuttings. This is part of what makes kava special - it can be shared between farmers, regardless of distance or location, with an assurance that the kava's characteristics will remain unchanged.
This sharing of kava knowledge has been passed down for centuries, so its calming benefits can be enjoyed worldwide today.
Related Link: How Long Does It Take for Kava to Kick In?
Why Do Kava Plants Not Produce Seeds?
Due to the scarcity of female flowers and its inability to produce fruit with seeds, kava cannot reproduce sexually. As a result, kava farmers have had to develop new ways to propagate their kava plants, such as taking cuttings or using root divisions.
How Is Kava Propagated?
Farmers will take a section of an existing plant and replant it in soil or water when propagating a kava plant through cutting or division. The plant then begins to grow its own roots and stems while taking in nutrients from its environment. This method is more labor-intensive than traditional planting methods, but it is necessary in order to produce high-quality kava crops without relying on unreliable seed production.
Every kava plant needs to be grown specifically from a node on a section of the stalk. A plant's stem will be cut into sections that are between three and four inches long by farmers. Traditionally, these stem cuttings are placed directly into the ground and tended for three to five years to develop into a mature plant. Due to the rising demand for kava, it is increasingly typical now for kava plant propagation to occur in a nursery from node stems to healthy seedlings.
Benefits Of This Form of Propagation?
The lack of seed production has several benefits for both farmers and consumers alike. For farmers, it eliminates the need for cross pollination which can cause genetic instability within a crop over time. When propagated through cuttings or divisions, each plant remains genetically identical to its parent resulting in consistent quality from one generation to the next.
For consumers, this means that your favorite strain of kava will remain consistent with every purchase! Additionally, because there are no seeds involved in the process, there is less risk of contamination through weeds or pests which can negatively impact potency and flavor profiles over time.
Do you have any questions about kava? Let’s get in touch!
Ideal Growing Conditions of Kava Plants
- Lighting: For young (less than a year old) kava plants, indirect light is best; for older plants, full sun is best (over one year)
- Soil: Perlite, vermiculite, or coconut coir is added to soil at a ratio of 50% to organic compost or humus.
- Compost or all-purpose fertilizer can be added as needed every few months to fertilize.
- Humidity: Ambient humidity should be about 80% for best results.
- Temperature: 20 to 25 °C (68 to 80 °F)
- Keep moist but not drenched in water while watering.
Related Link: How to Make Kava: Preparation Guide
Considerations of Growing Kava Plants
As a tropical plant, kava requires specialized care as it needs steady irrigation, moderate temperatures, and avoidance of direct sunlight. Without taking into consideration kava's environmental needs, there is a risk kava plants could become susceptible to disease or pests that can cause significant damage and crop loss.
Furthermore, when kava is harvested from the root system of mature plants, the soil may become depleted of essential nutrients making future cultivation difficult without the help of fertilizers. Although cultivating kava can present a few issues, they can be substantially reduced with careful monitoring and maintenance.
The Shelf Life of Kava
Generally speaking, kava has a shelf life of up to three years when stored in the original packaging and kept in a cool, dry place. If kava is exposed to sun or heat, it can break down faster and start to lose its potency. Once kava has been opened and exposed to air though, its shelf life reduces significantly.
To maximize kava's lifespan, store kava in a sealed container away from direct light and make sure to keep your kava dry. When stored properly and used quickly, kava can provide a smooth and pleasant experience that lasts for years!
Where to Buy Kava Cuttings
If you're planning to grow kava yourself, one of the first steps is finding where to buy kava seeds (or cuttings). These are typically sold online from retailers specializing in tropical plants or kava producers.
The price of kava cuttings can vary widely, depending on the variety, quality and quantity that are being purchased. When selecting kava cuttings, it is important to find the best possible quality from a reliable kava supplier so that your plants have the best chance at success.
Do you want to give kava a try? View our selection of kava products.
Kava & Seeds
So does kava produce seeds? No! While some plants rely on seed production for successful propagation, kava must be grown by taking cuttings or using root divisions instead.
Although this process requires more labor upfront compared to traditional planting methods, it ensures consistent quality across each generation while eliminating potential sources of contamination such as weeds and pests.Related Link: How to Drink Kava Tea: 5 Tips